“…and finally Mama is back”

Noha’s journey started in 2015. Her whole life changed, from being a healthy fit young Mom to discovering she had a brain tumor.

She was wondering whether she would see her 2 little girls grow.

Her father heard and read about Proton Therapy, a safe form of radiation, with minimal to no side effect. They searched, asked, and found that the better place would be Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, in Virginia, USA.

They headed to the United States from the Middle-East, and were greeted by SAH Care team who had arranged all appointments.

Dr Thornton explained all details about her medical condition, and made sure Noha received the best medical care. Noha underwent surgeries and 30 fractions of Proton Therapy.

She recovered and flew back home. Now her vision is getting better and she takes care of her children and family.

“The 30 sessions of Proton Therapy were painless and quick. The therapists who were with me every day during my sessions were so supportive. I am so pleased I went there and will definitely recommend HUPTI and the SAH Care Team”

Today, 5 years after the Proton Therapy Treatment, her lovely 10-year old daughter tells her story in the sweetest and most rewarding video.

Cancer diagnosis and treatment can be devastating for the patient and for his/her family. Psychosocial support is key, especially when the family needs to travel abroad. At SAH Care, we are  aware of this potential impacts on families, and our patients coordinators do their outmost to meet the health and psychological needs of the families.

Daily anesthesia and Proton Therapy

Proton Therapy is unique in its accuracy and in its heightened ability to avoid damage to healthy cells or tissues during treatment. Because Proton Therapy precisely targets the tumor, it requires exact patients positioning. While the procedure itself is painless, the immobilization constraints may necessitate the provision of sedation or anesthesia for children, during simulation and treatment, to ensure patient safety.

This procedure might sound frightening, but watch Zahra, she has given us another great lesson here !

Having already received 20 fractions, she is still happy to come every day to the Hampton Proton Therapy Centre to get her treatment.

Zahra is a shy 7-year old girl diagnosed with medulloblastoma on September 2019. Her presenting symptoms included ataxia, nystagmus, and headaches. She quickly underwent a surgery to remove most of her brain tumor, and a shunt was placed during the resection due to papilledema and evidence of hydrocephalus at diagnosis.

On post-operative imaging, a 2 cm residual disease was identified. Her mother noted some right-sided motor weakness post-operatively and posterior fossa syndrome. By November 2019, Zahra started weekly chemotherapy and had been referred to SAH Care for Proton Therapy.

Zahra traveled to the US with her parents and has been treated by our Dr Allan Thornton at the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute. She came to the centre every day from Monday to Friday for 1 hour to receive her recommended total of 33 fractions. And every day she received a light anesthesia to ensure she didn’t move during the treatment.

Zahra had elected Walter, our Anesthesia Nurse, as her new best friend.  Every day, they were walking together along the corridor to fetch  Zahra’s anesthesia stretcher. Singing, playing, and laughing.

Zahra successfully completed her treatment in Hampton and went back home. Approximately 2 months after completion of proton therapy, all symptoms are currently resolved per Zahra’s mother.

When we saw her in February 2020, Zahra appeared to be recovering well and no longer complained of any symptom. She plays well and seems to have few current limitations to her activity.

Thank you Zahra for this lesson in courage and for your trust and confidence in our team !

In Muscat, the SAH team met with the Minister of Health, with the UICC board and with the Oman Cancer Association to prepare the 2020 World Cancer Congress.

The beginning of the year has been pretty busy for the SAH Team, advocating around the world so all patients can get the right treatment at the right time.

In Muscat, the SAH team has been honored to meet with Dr Ahmed Mohammed Obaid Al Saidi , the Minister of Health of the Sultanate of Oman, with H.R.H. Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and with Dr Wahid Al Kharusi, President of the Oman Cancer Association, (OCA) to prepare the 2020 World Cancer Congress.

The UICC is the largest cancer federation in the world, internationally recognized for its excellence.

UICC is the largest global organization solely dedicated to reducing the global cancer burden, promoting greater equity, and integrating cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

It is the only global cancer organisation in the world representing all cancer types and entire cancer spectrum, uniting a common voice for cancer in the international space through its formal relations with the World Health Organisation – WHO

UICC connects the most influential decision leaders in cancer control through its platforms, and addresses unmet needs and building the capacity of its 1000+ members in 170 countries.

UICC is holding its first-ever global Cancer Congress in the Middle East Region in Muscat Oman on October 20-22, 2020.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 10-1-883x1030.jpg

“The World Cancer Congress is an award-winning global conference organized by UICC, which encourages effective knowledge transfer, and best practices exchange amongst over 3,500 cancer control and public health experts from 130 countries.

 It aims to strengthen the participants’ actions and impact on national, regional, and international scales through a multidisciplinary program that features the latest successful interventions in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care.

It will be the first time that the Congress is held in our region. Under the theme ‘The way forward’, it aims to highlight the need for the region and other parts of the world to work towards reducing the burden of cancer.

The 2020 edition of the Congress is hosted by the Oman Cancer Association (OCA) and the National Oncology Centre, Royal Hospital Muscat. It will take place in the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center.

Stakeholders from the entire cancer control spectrum, health ministers, mayors, finance ministers, oncologists, representatives from NGOs, patient groups, universities, and the private sector will engage in debates and conversations about public health and cancer issues.”

Very warm thanks to Dr Wahid Al Kharusi and his wife who organized a cordial barbecue to close the meetings session.

SAH, UICC and OCA share the same goal :

Together delivering better patient treatment and care for cancer

In 2020, SAH will keep advocating, explaining the benefits of Proton Therapy, and fighting to make sure that the patients who need the most that treatment can get it on time.